Fer De Lance: The Hyperborean-2022.

Fer De Lance:Epic Heavy Doom Metal from United States.

Dicography:

ColossusEP2020
The HyperboreanFull-length2022

Members:

RüstyBass
See also: HitterMidnight DiceMoros Nyx, ex-Ancient Dreams, ex-Satan’s Hallow, ex-Tiger Fight, ex-Professor Emeritus, ex-High Spirits (live), ex-Smoulder (live), ex-Thunderslave (live)
MPVocals, Guitars
See also: Moros Nyx, ex-MP, ex-Professor Emeritus
Mandy MartilloAcoustic Guitars, Vocals (2021-present)
See also: Midnight DiceZüül (live), ex-Satan’s Hallow, ex-High Spirits (live)
ScudDrums (2021-present)
See also: Sept of Memnon, ex-The Horde
J. GeistGuitars (2022-present)
See also: Beastlurker, ex-Narcotic

Past Members:

C. WolfGuitars, Bass
See also: OlórinSmoulder, ex-Ängelust, ex-Akashah (live), ex-Thunderslave (live), ex-Hrafnskald
1.Aurora Borealis02:28  instrumental
2.The Mariner08:16  Show lyrics
3.Ad Bestias07:13  Show lyrics
4.Sirens08:18  Show lyrics
5.Northern Skies08:29  Show lyrics
6.Arctic Winds07:03  Show lyrics
7.The Hyperborean10:55  Show lyrics
 52:42 

One thought on “Fer De Lance: The Hyperborean-2022.

  1. gasmask_colostomy, April 22nd, 2022

    I totally passed Fer De Lance by when they released their EP Colossus in 2020 and only gave The Hyperborean a listen because I saw those magic words “epic doom” in close proximity. However, the word “heavy” needs to get thrown in there too and I deserve another slap for thinking that everything described as epic doom will sound like Candlemass. Because I keep forgetting that Bathory influenced a whole longboatload of acts around the time of Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods, such as Doomsword, Scald, and Ereb Altor, some of whom don’t sound at all like Candlemass and some of whom come pretty close. Doomsword and Scald are much better references for Fer De Lance’s sound, plus (though I sort of hate them) I’ll throw in Atlantean Kodex to get you all excited. Then again, the reason you might already be excited should also be brought to light, namely that Fer De Lance contains some pretty bit names in its newly expanded five-piece line-up: Hitter, Midnight Dice, and Satan’s Hallow all ought to be very recognizable bands for North American heavy metal fans, and members of all perform here, although Collin Wolf of Smoulder is now out after participating for the EP.

    Whatever expectations all those names have given you, I’m pleased to say that The Hyperborean does its utmost to outfox them. In the first place, the 53 minute album seems utterly dedicated to feeling epic, allowing ‘Aurora Borealis’ to set the scene and then averaging over 8 minutes for each of the 6 main cuts. Long songs don’t always imply epic results, yet stirring slow heavy metal with 2 ballsy singers in tow and the added flavour of folky clean guitars does the job very convincingly. MP (who also plays in Moros Nyx) takes a large responsibility for the vocals and shares guitar duty with J. Geist (Beastlurker) and Mandy Martillo (current Midnight Dice wailer), who provides those Celtic acoustic parts and some vocals of her own. As such, the singing plays a significant role in setting the right windswept environs for these wild tales, not to mention the sound effects of thrashing seas, raging winds, and snorting swine, the latter leading into ‘Ad Bestias’. The odd voices hovering around in ‘Sirens’ sound appropriately weird, but the overall effect of MP’s vocals comes close to Butch Balich at his best in Argus – like a noteworthy bear howling into the firmament.

    Despite a generally relaxed pace and breathable song structures, a lot happens during the course of The Hyperborean. Lead instruments pop up all the time, from the belted and semi-growled vocals to those flavourful acoustic accompaniments to the other lead guitar playing melodies of snaking light and proper down-on-your-knees solos; however, the rhythm players have their opportunities too, such as during the breakdown and re-escalation of ‘The Mariner’ or for the earth-shaking entrance of ‘Arctic Winds’, where Travis “Scud” Scudder and Patrick “Rüsty” Gloeckle totally clobber the listener. It turns out that Fer De Lance excel in clobbering the listener, since ‘Arctic Winds’ has all the stomp and clatter of a cavalry coming down at you, as well as meticulous tempo changes between sections and the flicker of an ultra-long Immortal tongue in cheek when the strident main riff is joined by croaking hoarse vocals. Pure, stern, joyous bravado. The other rather heavier number on offer comes in the form of ‘Ad Bestias’, which even exercises blastbeats and glinting tremolos to introduce generally double-bass tempos. Given that the theme is based around that old “Christians to the lions” chestnut, I totally commend the quintet for pumping up the song’s scope as much as possible.

    Every blade cuts both ways though, and Fer De Lance know where to make a subtle strike too. ‘Northern Skies’ may not be the easiest ballad to draw from the scabbard, not at 8 and a half minutes anyway, yet it goes to show how melodically sound this set of songs really is, using acoustic guitar as more than a mere detail and allowing the vocals to prop up its journeying Blind Guardian flavour, as shown by the instrumental fade out at the end. Although the title track initially looks like the most epic thing since sliced bread, the former part of its 11 minute bulk is taken up by a delicate but gradually building intro that feels like a night spent under the stars, then the rest of the song aims more for heroism than heaviness, emphasizing the “woah-oh” brand of vocals. These 2 cuts represent my least favourite elements of the release, since they capture the same atmosphere as the other tracks but focus on that atmosphere more specifically, dispensing with some of the equally stirring instrumental magic. If I had to put my finger on a single song where it all comes together properly, ‘The Mariner’ has the finest elements mixed most carefully, even if it took me several spins to come to that conclusion.

    Therefore, despite the rather slow rise to appreciation that The Hyperborean has had to endure from my perspective, it now stands as one of the better albums I’ve heard this year, a status mostly achieved without the knowledge of what it should sound like, since I had my own wrong preconceptions. Actually, Fer De Lance manage to stand out convincingly from others in their field, seeing as quite few epic metal bands have included similar reflective sections in their songs, and the folky lilt on one side and the battle-weary march on the other spark off powerful associations very suitable for the style. That’s not to mention the darker textures interwoven from black metal and doom, the latter of which comes to the fore in the gloomy ‘Sirens’ particularly. It goes without saying that fans of bombast will be much better suited to venture into Fer De Lance’s icy territories than those who prefer meekness, and it’s as such a fan that I find myself itching to press repeat on The Hyperborean once again.

    Originally written for The Metal Observer – http://www.metal-observer.com/3.o/review/fer-de-lance-the-hyperborean/

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